Letters, March 10-12: The times have changed. So too must our community’s approach.
Times have changed
I agree with every single thing Teri Orr said in her March 6 column titled “Be Bold.” I urge the school board, Park City and Summit County to hit the pause button and reevaluate how we plan to move forward. Education, development, transit, traffic, the environment and the future of our entire community need to be reexamined through a bold, new, up-to-date lens.
The arts and culture district’s purpose has become unfocused and keeps changing. Let’s table it for now.
The last two school proposals had huge price tags and were based on stiff, old-fashioned education models. Let’s ask our school board and school officials to explore or even create more innovative, engaging and progressive solutions.
The magic of the 2002 Olympics is one of my most cherished memories but it can never be replicated. It’s a different world, a different community, attitude, mentality and most of all a different climate, both figuratively and literally. The impact of the entire world descending on us would cause irreparable damage to our environment and our way of life. Let’s say no.
The times have changed and we must make some serious decisions about how to best move forward to protect and enhance this beautiful area we call home.
What can homebuyers count on?
No to Highland Flats! The zoning is rural residential and allows one house per 20 acres. The 410 units proposed units bringing in 1,000 residents would overload the roads and schools. The limited amount of units that are designated “affordable” isn’t adequate to justify this monstrosity.
The rural neighborhood roads surrounding this development are 24 feet wide, with no sidewalks and no street lights — do you want your children walking or bicycling to school with these conditions?
The developer’s traffic studies don’t match the county engineer’s numbers, they are changing road ratings and counts to justify their desires.
The Master Plan says to not approve more until approved developments are built. There are over 1,300 affordable units already approved — get those built before forever changing the zoning and bringing in more congestion to a RURAL residential area.
If residents can’t plan on a zone and Master Plan staying consistent, what can they count on when buying into an area?
Have the discussion
Like my neighbors, I’m against Highland Flats as currently proposed. However, with some modifications to density and some community benefits, this project would provide desperately needed affordable housing for our community.
The 410 units proposed is too many, but at some lesser number I suspect the project still makes economic sense for the developer. The ratio of market rate to affordable units needs to heavily favor the affordable portion. Additionally community benefits could include a soccer/lacrosse field, pickleball courts, etc. I see the 410 number as an opening bid up for further discussion.
The location seems about as good as it gets for affordable housing, on a bus line with a bike/walking path directly linking the project to a grocery store and gas station. For ease of access to these critical amenities, Highland Flats is hard to beat.
The current rural residential zoning allowing two housing units virtually guarantees the property will never be developed or put to good use for the community. No one who wants to build a house on 20 acres is going to build for a view of interstate. The current zoning hinders the property owners and deprives the community of some benefit. Allowing the zoning change is a reasonable accommodation for both parties.
Given the desperate need for affordable housing, the perspective needs to change from being against all proposals to examining how a project can work to the benefit of all parties. Somewhere between 410 and zero is a number that works for the developer and the community. I say let’s have that discussion and begin to address this housing shortage.
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